Month: December 2017

Celebrating the Final Day of Winter Spirit Week in Style

Photos: Delanie Tucker

Centennial students and staff put on their ugliest sweater for the final day of spirit week.  The halls were filled with excitement for the break and the holidays!

Wingspan wishes everyone a Happy Holiday and a great Winter Break!

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Students Talk About Class Selections for 2018-2019 School Year

Words: Shawn Kruhm

Course recommendations and class choices for the upcoming school year have begun and students are starting to stress.

Many students at Centennial are involved in multiple activities outside of school. Having to find a balance between school and extracurricular activities is a struggle. This causes many high schoolers to stay up late and lose sleep. Overwhelming yourself with a large school workload and numerous activities is something students should take into consideration when selecting their classes.

Darian Avery, a sophomore at Centennial High School, said, “It’s not hard to be challenged at Centennial. With sports and other outside activities that require time out of your nights, it’s a challenge finding time to make it all work.”

Along with getting good grades to please both themselves and their parents parents, students want to do well in school to impress colleges. Most high schoolers have already started to think about their future. Many students want to take higher level courses, like junior Olivia Weakland to get into the school they want.

I want to take harder classes to challenge myself to look better for college,” Weakland said.

Challenging yourself is a good thing until it is taken too far. Stress starts to build up when students want to take more intense classes, but they do not know what will be too much.

Sophomore Sarah Sopchick said, “I stress about choosing the classes I’ll take next year because I want to make sure I find a good balance and I don’t want to overwhelm myself.”

As long as students know their strengths and weaknesses, they should not struggle or stress about their class selections. If the course they are taking is too challenging for them, they can always drop to a class that is less intense.

“I don’t stress about classes coming up next year. I don’t think there’s much of a reason to. Stressing over classes is pretty pointless because they are what’s tomorrow and people should focus on today,” said Centennial junior, Kieran Newell.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Boys Basketball Picks Up Third Straight Win on the Road Against Long Reach High School

Words: Josh Horen

The Centennial Eagles boys varsity basketball notched their third straight victory and their first in-county win tonight in a thrilling victory over Long Reach, 69-67.

The Eagles had a slow start to the season dropping their first two games to Atholton High School and Mount Hebron High School. Since then, they have won three straight and seem to finally have picked up their offense.

Centennial, for the first four minutes of the first quarter, looked like they were ready to dismantle the Long Reach defense, jumping out to a 13-5 lead.

Senior Hayden Ford threw down back-to-back Shaquille O’Neal-esque dunks to put the Eagles up by eight points with 3:12 remaining in the first quarter.

However, the Long Reach Lightning answered with a 5-0 run of their own to end the quarter at 13-10. Ford was by far the standout player of their quarter tallying eight points and a handful of rebounds.

However, the second quarter was when the game really started to take its shape.

Long Reach scored an easy two points, to carry over their scoring run from the end of the first quarter, cutting the Eagles lead to just one point.

After that basket, the two teams traded baskets back and forth the rest of the quarter. Senior Corey Eudell connected on two three-pointers and Ford added seven more points in an extremely fast paced second quarter.

With 1:24 remaining in the half, junior Stafford Smith nailed a three-pointer to extend the Eagle lead to eight points. With a little more basket trading left in the half, Centennial went into halftime carrying a 34-28 lead.

In the second quarter, the Lightning switched to a 2-3 zone which proved to be quite ineffective. The Eagles made three three-pointers as Ford was continuing to find holes in the defense and scoring.

The second quarter was an offensive explosion for both teams and the pace would stay just as fast throughout the rest of the game. Ford and Eudell were carrying the offensive workload in the half and the defense picked up their play. Ford finished the quarter with 15 points, going 5/7 from the free throw line. Eudell had nine points all from beyond the three-point line.

The Eagles didn’t slow down in the second half either.

Senior Andrew Hohmann kicked off the third quarter with his first three points of the game, and extended the lead to 37-28.

After that shot, the Eagles offense went quiet and the Lightning offense picked up their play. Long Reach went on a 7-0 run and pulled within two points.

Senior Sean Taylor decided enough was enough and he made his first basket of the game, nailing a clutch three-pointer to push the Eagles lead to five points.

After a Lightning basket, Taylor went on an offensive eruption, scoring seven consecutive Eagle points, including a smooth finger roll after dicing through the lane, and another three-pointer.

When asked about his break-out in the third quarter, Taylor was confident in his offense but credits it all to his effort and sticking to the game plan.

“I just tried to be that spark for the team. In order to keep our energy up, all five of us needed to have that intensity we always talk about. I just tried to help to control the game by simply trying to make play,” said Taylor

With 2:04 remaining in the third quarter, Centennial held a 49-41 lead but Long Reach wasn’t going away. After some Lightning lay-ups, a Shawn Hill lay-up, and another Eudell three-pointer, Long Reach cut the lead to just five points, trailing 57-52 heading into the fourth.

Just like the third quarter, Hohmann started off the quarter with another three-pointer, extending the lead to 60-52.

After a Taylor lay-up, the Eagles saw their lead grow to eight points. However, the Lightning’s unwillingness to call it quits ultimately propelled them right back into the game.

With 2:13 left in the fourth quarter, the Lightning scored a lay-up and pulled to within just three points.

The Lightning were at the free throw line when they missed the shot and Hohmann had a tremendous effort to grab a very key offensive rebound. After hoisting it down he threw the ball out to the top of the key where it was stolen and taken the other way by Long Reach. The lay-up was missed but he was fouled and went to the free throw line. He connected on only 1/2 shots.

The Eagles were up 67-65 after that miss, but the Lightning got the ball again and tied the game at 67 a piece with 45 seconds left.

The Eagles had the ball and they were inbounding from their bench sideline. Hohmann got ahold of the ball, cut through the lane, and made what was ultimately the game winning shot.

When asked about the play and the shot, Hohmann was very blunt.

“The play was designed and the thought going through my head was to make the shot,” Hohmann stated.

Whatever was going through his head must’ve worked because the Eagles picked up their first in-county win tonight and the offense played out of their mind.

When asked about the offense’s performance, Eudell says that’s always what the Eagles strive for.

“That’s our goal every night, to get in rhythm as our offense flows and to get hot, and tonight we did that. To keep the offense flowing we have to cut down on turnovers and keep making the extra pass to push the ball,” explained Eudell.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Centennial Celebrates Character Day

Photos: Laila Abu-Ghaida, Harshitha Sayini, Minah Mubasher

On December 20, Centennial students dressed up like their favorite holiday characters.  Inspiration came from holiday classics to new favorites.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Girls Basketball Falls to Meade High School

Words and photos: Delanie Tucker

On Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Centennials girls varsity basketball team fell in a close game to Meade High School with a final score of 43-48.

For the entire game the points were coming from both teams at about the same pace, but Meade managed to keep their lead throughout.

Meade maintained their lead by out-scoring Centennial in the first quarter and then focusing on their defense for the rest of the match, closing Centennial down as best they could.

Although Centennial out-scored Meade in the second half of the game, they weren’t able to score enough to take the lead, losing by just five points.

“I think [Centennial] played okay, we didn’t play well in the first quarter and that dug us a hole that we couldn’t get out of for the next three quarters. We out-scored [Meade] over the second, third and fourth quarter,” Robert Slopek, the girls varsity coach, said after being asked what he thought about the outcome, “the first quarter we didn’t come out with the energy we were hoping to come out with and it just dug us a bigger hole than we could manage in this game.”

The result may not have been what they hoped for, but the eagles had multiple plays from both the defense and the offense that had a big impact on the outcome of the game. Additionally, there were also many players that greatly impacted the outcome, players such as sophomore Brook Anderson and junior Chandler Worthy, the two scoring 19 of Centennials 43 points.

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.

Breaking: Time Changes for Next School Year Nixed

Words: Delanie Tucker

On December 19, 2017 the Howard County Public School System made their final decision in regards to the opening and closing times of all Howard County schools during the 2018-2019 school year: they will remain the same.

On February 23, 2017, the Board of Education of Howard County released a School Start and Dismissal Time Committee Report which laid out an overview of the process of changing all HCPSS schools. To address the problem of new times, the HCPSS superintendent at the time, Renee Foose, established a School Start and Dismissal Time Committee. They developed a five-phase process to analyze the issue, including multiple opportunities for feedback from the community.

Since then, information has been released that states a meeting held on December 19, 2017 has brought the discussion to an end. The board had made their decision. They have decided that, although there was a lot of effort put into the new models, no change will be made to the schedules. Taking into consideration the impacts of each model, they came to the conclusion that the schools would not benefit from the changes. Instead, it would have majorly increased the amount of money spent on transportation to and from school, adding costs ranging from $6.2 million to $9.1 million per year.

All of the original motions passed that implemented the changes have been rescinded.

According to the February 23, 2017 report, a motion was passed on April 28, 2016 to direct staff to explore models that made it so middle schools and high schools wouldn’t open until after 8:15 AM. At a Board of Education meeting on November 17, 2016 the staff presented four new models for opening and closing times, considering the impact of each. As a result, the staff was directed to move on with stage four, which was to solicit additional stakeholder feedback through community forums and report findings from community forums to the BoE for action. They were also directed to implement an online forum to gather stakeholder feedback regarding the possible models.

The feedback from the community forums was presented to the BoE on January 12, 2017. A Public Hearing was held on February 7, 2017.

Currently, all Howard County schools begin between 7:25 and 9:30. With the high schools being the early birds, most students have to wake up before the sun is even up. In an attempt to  fix the problem, the BoE proposed that high schools would open at 8:30, and the middle schools would follow shortly after at 9:15.

The elementary school times would have been earlier than before. With the model, their school day would have started around 8:15, putting them in a similar situation as the high schools.

As of December 1, 2017, Brian Bassett, a Senior Communication Strategist for HCPSS, stated that nothing had been finalized yet.

“Last year, [The Board of Education] passed a motion that narrowed the school start window from 8:15-9:25 a.m. for next year, but the start times for each level (elementary, middle, and high) have not yet been determined,” Bassett said, “I know that this is something that the Board is still considering and all options are still on the table. Any discussion of the topic will be discussed at a public Board meeting, which has not been scheduled.”

For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan.